10 ways to make mental health part of the employee experience
Mike HicksJanuary 20, 2021
The beginning of the year is a great time for organizations to make changes and embrace new opportunities. And after the challenges we all faced in 2020 (and continue to face), supporting the employee experience is more important than ever – especially when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.
Mental health is a huge issue, with recent research suggesting that in North America and Europe, more working days were lost due to mental health issues than any other illness last year. Longer working hours have caused employee burnout and stress, with lockdowns adding to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
From a commercial perspective, the knock-on impact on productivity and profitability can be significant. Organizations should be focusing on developing and delivering impactful health and wellbeing programs to help keep workers motivated.
Health, wellbeing, and creating the best employee experience: 10 tips for success
With remote working here to stay, many organizations have moved their head offices from physical ones to a digital workplace or intranet.
These 10 practical tips will help make sure your intranet becomes a tool that can provide employees with the wellbeing support they need:
1. Create a health and wellbeing community
Building a community that’s front and center shows that the issue matters to your organization. As well as providing easy access to a range of resources, it should encourage active support networks around topical issues – for example, the need to juggle homeschooling with work meetings. Or healthy eating tips in winter months.
2. Nurture an employee experience that includes health related activities
Competitions are a great way to create a sense of fun and encourage employees to improve their fitness levels. A walking challenge is a popular option. Follow best practice and:
- Have employees form teams of 5 people, with each team recording their step count over a 6-week period.
- Publish weekly league tables on the intranet with a light-hearted commentary on each team’s progress.
- Award a prize to the team with the most steps, with more prizes for people who upload interesting pictures and videos captured along the way.
Chances are this type of activity will bring out a competitive streak in some employees, which can add to the fun.
3. Bring people together for a better employee experience
World Mental Health Day and World Health Day are specific dates to promote health initiatives on your intranet’s homepage. Campaigns like these are likely to underpin your company values, building a sense of corporate social responsibility among employees.
4. Give managers ‘mental first aid’ resources
Can you recognize the signs of mental illness? It’s even more challenging to spot when employees work remotely. Providing resources for managers is a must. This information can include toolkits, training, links to external websites, access to relevant employee benefits, and a connection to appointed mental health first aiders.
5. Create fun communities of interest
Remote working can be lonely. Online connections offer a much-needed sense of non-work related fun and collaboration with colleagues across the globe. Communities can include book clubs, music groups, online quizzes, movie recommendations/reviews and cooking clubs.
6. Encourage people to share health and wellbeing stories
Helping employees realize they’re not alone is a powerful support mechanism. Encouraging people to share personal stories online that describe how they’ve overcome (or are managing, at least) physical or mental health issues is a great way to promote open conversations and encourage people to seek help and support where needed.
7. Support flexible working
For many employees and organizations, the days of working 9 to 5 are behind us. To engage your people, keep them productive, and show you care about their health and wellbeing, give employees the ability to work flexibly – in a way that suits them. A great digital workplace or intranet is the essential tool to help employees get the job done at a time and place that will allow them to do their best work.
8. Say thanks
A simple thank you goes a long way. Thanking employees for a job well done promotes feelings of wellness and achievement. An intranet can be the ideal place to say well done, which can include peer-to-peer recognition as well as corporate recognition. Sharing stories of success encourages other employees to adopt best practice ideas.
9. Tackle information overload
It’s easy to feel bombarded with information coming from all directions. For many employees, it can cause stress and anxiety.
Good digital technology can help make sure the right content finds the right employee at the right time, encouraging a sense of control and achievement. Not everyone needs the same information. With the right digital workplace solution in place, you can deliver personalized communication based on an employee’s location, department, language, interests, and preferences.
10. Rally around a shared vision
Having a sense of purpose often leads to a sense of personal satisfaction and wellbeing. Engage employees online with a simple organizational story – a clear vision, mission, and purpose. Doing this supports well being because it reminds people how they contribute to success and why their work matters.
An employee experience platform supports business growth, too
Richard Branson famously said: “Take care of your employees, and they'll take care of your business.” As the world emerges from the pandemic, using an intranet to motivate workers to deliver an exceptional experience for customers, suppliers, and partners can speed up business growth and success at the same time.
Are you ready to create a better employee experience?
At Beezy, our simple and intuitive digital workplace user interface, full feature set, data security, and mobile app makes it easy for global and local employees to stay involved and get work done. The result is a workforce that’s more productive, engaged – and, most importantly, happier. Looking for more? Click on the banner below to download the free health and wellbeing guide. Request a demo to see what Beezy can do for your organization.